Saturday, October 09, 2004

I hate both sides

So apparently this week over in Amazing Spider-Man, J. Michael Straczynski revealed that, before she died, Gwen Stacy had sex with Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin, and ended up giving birth to twins. Oh, and Mary Jane's known this the whole time.

Yes, it's as stupid as it sounds. Shut up, J. Michael Straczynski.

And at the other end of the spectrum, shut up Scott Tipton.

Now to be fair, I agree with almost all of Tipton's essay. I think JMS's tale is poor storytelling, and it really does diminish the impact of the original death of Gwen Stacy story. In the original, Gwen Stacy died because the Green Goblin wanted to hurt Spider-Man, not Gwen. Now instead of Peter's loved ones being targeted because he's Spider-Man, Peter's loved ones are targeted because they were dumb enough to have sex with the super-villain.

It's where Tipton starts comparing this turn of events with things like Identity Crisis and Avengers that I start to see red. I simply can't stand the "You can't kill/change this character! I luuuuuuurve them!" If you can't stand a change in the status quo of a comic, then I have no choice but to declare you an enemy of narrative fiction. Listen, if you're going to insist that comics last forever and ever into infinity, you're going to have to accept that sooner or later Hawkeye will die, Sue Dibney will be raped, Chuck Austen will start writing your favorite book, etc. If you hate the changes just drop the book. Which, to his credit, Tipton appears to be doing. Like I said, I agree with nearly all of his essay, it's just the fact that he seemed to take the story personally that really bugs me. Grow up, man. (Should you be interested, I posted a long, knee-jerk rant to Tipton's essay over at Mastodon City, but I can't figure out their permanent links so you'll just have to scroll down to the "What? Really?" topic and click on the comments to read it. I'm sure you'll get right on it.)

Through serendipitous timing, I happened upon this interview with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada right before I wrote this post. And he has things to say along these lines. Here are some choice bits.

There are so many characters that no one really cares about until something happens to change them or to defame them, in those cases I say, go for broke. I think DC is experiencing a bit of this with Identity Crisis. Suddenly, Sue Dibny is a much beloved character. Who the heck ever cared about Sue Dibny in that kind of way before the Doctor Light incident?

And as for the subject of those who would bash Marvel online (Tipton was civil so he's mostly exempt):

They come to the defense of their beloved two dimensional, fictitious characters as though they were real people, with feelings and family, yet treat the people who create, write and draw these characters as though they were fictitious and two dimensional without any regard for their feelings and family.

I'm pretty sure he meant "two dimensional" as in on the printed page, but it'd be funnier to interpret it as "two-dimensional characters," particularly considering the uproar after Milligan and Allred took over X-Force. "What about these characters I LOVE, like Boom Boom and Shatterstar!" Ha!

I mean, I love comic books. LOVE THEM. But they're just made up, people. Try not to get carried away. If Hawkeye dying is the worst thing to happen to you all year, then you are one lucky son of a bitch.

*To all out there who hate "Avengers: Disassembled," was it really worse than Chuck Austen's run? Was it? I'll tell you. It wasn't.


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